Nearby Nature’s home base is in Alton Baker Park, where we have served as the City of Eugene’s resident Park Host since 1998. Alton Baker Park has a developed area on the western end and the 237-acre Whilamut Natural Area on the eastern end.
Most of Nearby Nature’s programs take place in the Whilamut Natural Area and at our Learnscape Garden and Outdoor Classroom. Named to honor the Kalapuya people, the Whilamut Natural Area is a haven for wildlife as well as non-motorized human visitors. A myriad of jogging and hiking trails, bike paths, waterways, forests, meadows, and the Kalapuya Talking Stones make this area a favorite among runners, hikers, nature explorers, canoe paddlers, bicyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts. For upcoming Nearby Nature programs in the park, see our Calendar.
When you visit the park, pleas follow the Natural Area Guidelines below. An Alton Baker Park Trail Map is posted on kiosks located throughout the park, including one near the Alton Baker Park Host Residence where we have our office.
Interested in getting more involved in advocating for the park? Consider applying to join the Citizen Planning Committee for the Whilamut Natural Area of Alton Baker Park. This intergovernmental committee helps monitor city-initiated restoration and park improvement activities, coordinates committee-sponsored volunteer projects, and promotes the Whilamut Natural Area to the community as a valuable open space asset. As of February 2020, the committee is seeking four new members from the City of Eugene. Application information can be found here.
Whilamut Natural Area Guidelines
Alton Baker Park’s natural area is the green heart of the Eugene-Springfield urban area. One of the best and simplest ways we can protect the natural qualities of this park is to lessen human impact.
- Stay on the trails. This keeps trampling to a minimum and reduces human disturbance of wildlife.
- Pack it out. Litter shows disrespect and damages plant and wildlife habitat.
- Leave it in. Each plant, animal, and rock has its value in nature. Please don’t pick, catch, remove, or collect natural items.
- Keep pets leashed and on trails. Pets can disturb and harm wildlife – and sometimes other park visitors, too!
- Ride bicycles only on designated paths. Bicycles are allowed only on paved paths in the natural area (BMX and mountain biking may be done in the BMX area.)
Please follow these guidelines and help educate other park visitors as well. Remember, the natural area belongs to all of us, and especially to those plants and animals that can’t speak for themselves!